In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, addressed to the Christian church in Corinth one of the Pauline epistles and part of the New Testament of the Christian Bible Saint Paul the Apostle and co-author, Sosthenes, write in part: "If I speak in human and angelic tongues* but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Hebrew names Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah), along with Daniel are brought to Babylon to study Chaldean language and literature with a view to them serving at the King's court, and their Hebrew names are replaced with Chaldean or Babylonian names. Eventually the three Jewish men are thrown into a fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon for refusing to bow to the king's image, but they remain unharmed. "Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and rose in haste, asking his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Certainly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unbound and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God" - Daniel Chapter 3
The Martyrdom of a Mother and Her Seven Sons is recounted in 2 Mccabees
"It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: “What do you expect to learn by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.” After the torture and death of the seven children 2 Mccabees continues:
"Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother who, seeing her seven sons perish in a single day, bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord."
Saint John the Apostle the author of the Johannine Works, (the three Johannine epistles and the Book of Revelation, together with the Gospel of John, are called the Johannine works) in John 15:13 he writes " No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Jesus alludes to the sacrifice he's about to make. True love is not a cheap, shallow sentiment; it is costly. When we love others the way Christ loved us, we will need to sacrifice some things or even many things.
The disciples surely missed the true depth of these words in that moment. But after he died on the cross and rose again these words took on a whole new meaning. Jesus showed that “there is no greater love than this” when he laid down his life for us.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love there is no greater love than this: Saint Kolbe laying down his life for a stranger